Dr. César Vega

Expert reviewer, Nathan Myrhvold’s Modernist Cuisine
Research manager, Mars, Inc.
Co-editor and contributing author to The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food & Cooking

As the international world of cooking continuously evolves, it is hard to keep abreast with its developments. Indeed, to be able to accomplish this it is necessary to have a true passion for cooking, eating and all things gastronomy. I’ve known very few people like that. John Placko is one of them. Ever since I met him a few years back, he was well versed in the techniques that many avant-garde restaurants were using. He continues to do so. He has eaten in the best tables of the world which for me, speaks about the development of taste and gives license to speak about food. He worked in the food industry in a variety of capacities (of increasing responsibility) which certainly provide a wider perspective of the challenges that the food industry (restaurant or not) faces nowadays.  He has created awareness of modern cooking techniques in Canada via series of demonstrations and written articles, and for that, I commend him. I wish him every success in ensuring that the new generations of cooks become aware of the potentials behind modern cooking techniques without losing sight that technique and flavor, will always come first.

Dr. Vega's Book

Dana McCauley, Food Trends and Innovation Expert

John Placko is not just a gifted chef; he’s an insightful one who is as well versed in classical cuisine as he is in modernist techniques. The fact that he is also an eloquent communicator– both verbally and via the written word — means that he is exactly the kind of leader our industry needs to motivate other chefs to propel Canadian cuisine in exciting directions.

Rudolf Fischbacher, Professor & Coordinator of Culinary Programs, Humber College

John has been instrumental in implementing our Molecular Gastronomy workshops here at Humber College. We had great success and participants always walk away amazed seeing the possibilities with this Cuisine. His focused and accurate approach with preparing and delivering classes is a joy to watch and participate in. I look forward to future projects together to enrich the Culinary scene with Avant-garde Cuisine.

Chef Martin Kouprie, Co-Owner and Chef, Pangaea Restaurant

John’s ability to take the newest innovations in cooking and break them down into easy steps makes fueling creativity fun and easy.